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It's A Dog's Life: Clowning Around

Teddy has a love of clowning around and making people laugh, as explained through his human translator, Helen Stockton

This time of year has a number of special occasions: Valentines Day, Pancake Day (a personal favourite) and Mothering Sunday, to name but a few. However, one lesser-known event in February is Clown Day. This, apparently, is held in memory of a clown called Joseph Grimaldi, famous for introducing the concept of the pantomime dame and audience participation. I remember ‘Her Indoors’ trying to explain about Pantomimes to an American. That was an interesting one. Two cultures separated by a common language. Oh no they aren’t...!

Anyway, one of the good things about us dogs is, like any clown worth their wig, we are skilled at making people laugh. Sometimes that is at our expense. ‘Them Indoors’ have a gargoyle hidden in the shrubbery near the front door – what can I tell you, they have strange taste – and when I first came to live with them and discovered this, I backed off pretty rapidly and did barking. They seemed to find this amusing for some reason. They are similarly entertained about my behaviour when a certain former US President with a dodgy comb-over appears on the TV. I do growling then with raised hackles. I don’t want him in my living room. Barking at retractable tape measures – nasty, sneaky things that can’t be trusted - and going into hiding when ‘Her Indoors’ wants to take me for a walk, particularly if it’s inclement outside, also seems to give them some quiet amusement. She has to play hide and seek until she finds me, curled up somewhere, avoiding eye contact.

Then I make them smile when I’m having fun. One of the things I like is to grab hold of the end of a toy and spin around with it, faster and faster. I only do this when I’m very happy and it’s such a joyful thing that it makes ‘Them Indoors’ laugh too. We all have fun; what could be nicer.

I know not everyone smiles at dogs but then not everyone smiles at clowns. In fact, clowns have a whole phobia of their own, coulrophobia. I don’t think I’ve ever met a clown, but I’m not sure I’d like one if I did. If I want dodgy make-up and bad hair, I’ve got ‘Her Indoors!’

She always says you require a sense of humour to home a Border Terrier, although, in a spirit of inclusiveness, I’m sure this applies to other breeds of dog too. Anyway, all of ‘Her Indoors’ friends have a good sense of humour so I am obviously satisfying a particular need. So if you want to be happy, which is always a worthy aspiration, the answer is simple, get to know a dog, we’re good fun!